It all starts with an idea. Maybe you read a good romance writing prompt or maybe you overhear a conversation that makes your imagination take off. Sometimes it’s the simplest trigger that sparks a romance novel.
However, transitioning from a lovely idea or daydream is where writers are born. Anyone can have a good idea for a story, and to be honest most everyone thinks that they do. The difference between those people and writers is that writers take action to turn that idea into a book.
Pansters are Still Planners
You’re probably familiar with the term “pantster.” It means that you write by the seat of your pants. The ideas come to you as you write. Even if you’re this type of writer, you still plan. You still put a lot of thought into the book. You still contemplate questions before you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You start Writing Your Romance
1. Do You Have the Information, Experience, and Knowledge to Write This Story?
Ideas come from all sorts of places. You might imagine a navy hero saving a fashion designer. If you don’t have any experience or knowledge in either of those worlds, there will be a lot of extra work to do. That’s okay. It’s not the end of your sotry idea. However, it’s important to be realistic about your starting point.
For example, my first book was a story about a rock climber. I’d never been rock climbing in my life so I had a lot to learn. It took a year of research and some terrifying moments high up in the air to learn what I needed to know.
2. What’s the Hook?
Why will people want to read your book? How is it different, interesting, and entertaining? What makes your story something that publishers will want to publish and readers will want to buy? This may be the most difficult question to answer because audiences are fickle. However you’d better have some idea before you start writing. If you’re not sure why it will be a good story, keep thinking about it until you know.
3. How Will You Write it?
A better way to ask this question is, “how much planning and plotting will you do before you begin to write?”
- Do you have the characters solidly in your mind so they remain consistent throughout?
- Do you know how your characters will grow?
- What is the black moment?
- What is the conflict?
- How do your hero and heroine meet?
Some writers know every detail before they sit down and begin to write their story. Others have a sketchy idea in their mind, or on paper, and they use that as a starting point. Some people write chapters and scenes as they come to them and then weave them together. J.K Rowling used an elaborate storyboard and plot chart to create her Harry Potter books.
I’ve used note cards to outline the details of each scene. I’ve created ten page chapter by chapter outlines and I’ve written from the seat of my pants and a loose idea of where the story would go.
There’s no right or wrong way to approach your romance story idea. However, it is a good idea to think about how you want to approach your book. Don’t be surprised if you cannot see your entire story all at once. That’s okay. Plan what you can and go from there. Second drafts and revisions are where you’ll pull it all together. For now, start planning and begin writing. Don’t lose that great romance story idea!
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